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Washington Post stealth edits caption describing Israeli woman’s children as being ‘detained’ by Hamas

The Washington Post stealth edited the caption of a photo Thursday that initially described Israeli children as having been “detained” by Hamas terrorists. The caption was subsequently changed to say they were “taken hostage.”

The terror group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, with hundreds of terrorists pouring into the country, killing over 1,200 Israelis and kidnapping many others. The Israeli military said Thursday there are still 203 hostages in Gaza.

The Post published a piece Thursday about the families of hostages, but it was the caption of a photo of a mother saying, “Two of her children have been detained by Hamas,” that drew the most attention. 

The Post was called out for the mild language in a series of viral social media posts.

Relatives of missing Israelis lift portraits of their loved ones in front of the Western Wall while attending a day of prayer in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 19, 2023, for the safe return of hostages taken by Palestinian fighters after they breached the fortified Gaza border with Israel on October 7.  (YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

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Conservative author Bethany Mandel pointed out the initial caption in The Post story in a screenshot timestamped 7:45 p.m., writing, “Interesting choice of words from Washington Post. ‘detained,’” along with a thinking emoji.

At some point soon after, The Post stealth edited the sentence with no explanation. 

Mandel followed up with another screenshot timestamped at 9:18 p.m. showing the caption had been changed to “have been taken hostage” and commented, “Well that was fast.”

“HORRIFYING framing from the Washington Post,” conservative communicator Steve Guest wrote of the first caption’s language.

Chaya Raichik, the conservative activist behind LibsOfTikTok wrote, “Hey WaPo, they weren’t ‘detained.’ They were kidnapped and ripped from their home by terrorists and are being held hostage.”

“Whitewashing Hamas’ crimes. Repulsive,” conservative writer Melissa Braunstein wrote in a social media post.

“Kidnapped? Taken hostage?” political historian Brian Rosenwald suggested as alternatives. “The American media doesn’t seem to get that Hamas is evil and everything they’ve done is evil here.

“They’re KIDNAPPED … not ‘detained,'” journalist Corey Clayton wrote before slamming the Washington Post for “carrying Hamas’ water once again.”

“Democracy dies in deceit,” Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter wrote.

“From the paper that brought us the ‘austere religious scholar,’” RealClearInvestigations Editor at Large Benjamin Weingarten wrote, referring to The Post’s infamous obituary headline referring to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar.”

“They’ve edited it now, but the real problem is they did it in the first place,” Townhall columnist Derek Hunter wrote. “At this point, changing it is only to cover their tracks. How it happened matters. @JeffBezos, any idea how your editors managed to do this?”

hostage photos

A man holds a banner displaying photos of kidnapped Israelis at a rally in Times Square demanding Hamas free Israeli hostages on October 19, 2023 in New York City.  ((Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images))

Conservative commentator Stephen L. Miller went further and addressed Post media reporters directly. He pointed to the original caption and wrote, “This is a choice. This is an editorial choice by Washington Post. You wanted proof @farhip, this is it.” 

Miller was referencing to an earlier tweet by Post media reporter Paul Farhi skeptically asking who in “the media” had made egregious mistakes in reporting on the Gaza hospital blast.

Miller followed by asking Farhi, “Why is your employer referring to Jewish children kidnapped by Hamas as being ‘detained.’ You guys better provide a real good f—— answer for that one and not a stealth caption edit.”

Once the caption was edited he said to the Post reporter, “Update – Stealth caption change. So would you like to explain why this happened?” 

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Showing side by side comparisons of the two captions, Miller also tagged Post media critic Erik Wemple and wrote, “You guys should probably explain why the first caption was allowed to be published, who wrote it, which editor approved it. Then you guys should explain why it was changed, which editor approved the change and why. Democracy dies in darkness.”

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The Washington Post, Fahri and Wemple did not immediately respond to FOX News Digital’s request for comment.

For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media 

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